Archive for the ‘ Friends ’ Category

One By One…

It is the way of man; we’re born, we grow, we live, produce, fade, and pass on.

No one escapes it, but each time someone near to me passes,  I’m reminded that one by one a generation leaves us and we become the older generation.

The oldest – at least for a time.

Friday brought another reminder, Richard Nunery, father, grandfather, and trusted family friend passed away at the age of 90.

He leaves behind four daughters, several grandchildren, and a host of friends.

His death cuts a little deeper not only because of its reminders, but because Mr. Nunery was my dad’s best friend for over 50 years.  Our families are connected by faith, the past, the future, and firm friendships that started on a snowy New Year’s Eve 1957.

There were two men who were responsible for our move to Germantown in 1957; Tom Calhoun , whom I’ll post about someday, and Richard Nunery.

Mr. Nunery was the head of the pastoral search committee when FBC Germantown was looking for a new pastor in 1957.

I’ve told the story before, but humor me, Dad came to Germantown for a week’s revival, stayed nearly three, and shortly thereafter, the church called him to be the pastor.  He held that post for over 20 years until his health got the best of him and he retired and became Pastor Emeritus  for a few.

Both men were fixtures in Germantown. Dad, the pastor, and Mr. Nunery an established insurance salesman with his own agency. In their respective ways each offered assurance and insurance to many.

Dad with the plan of salvation and assurance, and Mr. Nunery with not only the gospel, which he shared with many, but a plan for retirement, keeping families protected and secure, helped hundreds if not thousands in the town.

In a sense, they both peddled fire insurance.

At a time like this when we see a generation leaving us one by one, it reminds us of our duty to carry on their message, their beliefs, their values, and their faith.

Nature’s way of making room can be saddening, but it should bring us hope as well.

Happy Friends Day!

In most South American Cultures, today is Friends Day.

It’s a day for celebrating friendships both old and new.  It’s not all that old of a holiday; beginning in Paraguay in 1958, the idea spread throughout much of the South American Continent and eventually made its way around the world.

Of course, it’s not always celebrated on April 18; Oberlin, Ohio has its own friend’s day 10 days earlier.  I’m guessing they just read the date wrong!

And in 2011, the UN declared July 30, International Friendship Day; the South Americans would have nothing to do with it!

So it remains April 18th each year!

Initially created by the greeting card industry, the idea waned over time, but with the advent of social media, it’s seen a renewed interest.

In many places, cards, flowers, friendship wrist bands, and other tokens are provided to friends to honor the day and their relationship.

So, on this Friend’s Day, here’s a shout out to my more than 1,100 Facebook friends and the seven of you who read my blog every day!

And of course, the friends I’ve had forever…even if they’re not all here.

Happy Friend’s Day.

Daily Miracles…

This is Finley Kate Douglass, the daughter of a co-worker and friend and his wife, Jeffrey Douglass/Meredith Mauck Douglass. Finely was born at 26 weeks and weighed in at a whopping 1,5 pounds.

Miracles continue to happen with this child every day; she’s UP to 1 lb 9 ounces and is making progress. There is a Caring Bridge spot for updates, and a Go Fund Me page if you’d like to help. And of course, your prayers would be appreciated.

I contacted Jeff and Meredith and asked them to help me out with the details.

I want everyone to know about this baby, pray for this baby, and help this baby.

Below is their story thus far…

Our Story:

Meredith hadn’t been feeling as much movement from Finley all day Saturday or Sunday. so on Sunday morning, March 12th around 10:00 she decided to call her OB as she still wasn’t feeling much movement even though she had eaten a big breakfast and lay on her side for a while.

Her doctor told her to go ahead and come into L&D and get checked out to make sure everything was fine. The doctor said 90% of the time when they get these calls it turns out to be nothing but they always like to check just to make sure.

Meredith kept thinking she was overreacting and that she was going to get hooked up to the monitor and see Finley moving around like crazy.

We arrived 11:30, Mere was hooked up to the monitor and heard Finley’s precious heart beat right away so they assumed everything was fine.

About 30 minutes later the nurse came in and said it seems that your baby is “sleepy” so we are going to give you some IV fluids to see if she perks up and do an ultrasound to check her growth. A little bit of concern came over us but we were still hearing Finley’s heartbeat on the monitor so we weren’t too concerned.

After a full bag of fluids Finley didn’t perk up and the ultrasound was showing her growth at 24.5 weeks instead of 26 weeks. Their doctor came in and said that they were keeping Meredith overnight and most likely a lot longer than that.

The doctor informed us that there was definitely something going on with our little girl that wasn’t normal.

She told us that the maternal fetal specialist group that they work with was going to come and do another ultrasound to see what the blood flow through the umbilical cord looked like and recheck her growth.

During the ultrasound with the specialist Meredith knew something was really wrong. The specialist took over doing the ultrasound from the tech and looked around and then left the room. She came back a few minutes later and told the tech to just take minimum measurements and be done. The specialist doctor came back in and told us the blood flow through our little girl’s umbilical cord was reverse end diastolic flow.

They had two options on the table. 1. Wait it out and try and get at least 24 hours of steroids to help boost Finley’s lungs and development but run the risk of her passing away. 2. Go ahead and do an emergency C-section and take Finley right away. They decided to go ahead and do the emergency C-section in hopes that she would be able to grow more safely outside the womb and mitigate the risk of her passing in Meredith’s stomach.

Finley Kate Douglass was born at 5:50 PM weighing just 1.5 lbs. The NICU team took her away immediately and began their treatment. Since Finley has been born she has seen plenty of ups and downs which is pretty typical of babies born at 26 weeks.

She had a grade 4 brain bleed on day 3 which is the most severe grade of bleed. The doctors don’t know the effects of it and won’t know the full effects of it for years.

The big prayer request was for healing of the brain and for all the fluid and blood to be able to drain properly and not cause swelling in her head. Mere and Jeff We recently received news that by God’s grace there is no swelling in Finley’s head and it appears that she is healing well from the bleed. Finley continues to improve day by day and that is exciting to see.

Her lungs, stomach, and heart all seem to be getting stronger and developing well also.

God is so good and it is amazing to see His work throughout all of this.

Jeff and Meredith Douglass

Hey, it’s me again:  If you’d like to help, feel free to reach out to me via email.



Growing UP a Baptist Preacher’s kid in Germantown, Ohio I couldn’t count the times I heard the Doxology sung.

I realized just the other day that I haven’t heard it in decades.  I’m reading a book set in 1852, and the sing it in the story.

Honestly, the last time may have been when either John Calhoun or possibly John Helton was leading the singing at FBC Germantown.

When it was FBC Germantown.

Things change.

The song disappeared.

I’ve been a Baptist since the Cradle Roll, and heard it all my life growing UP, but in the last 40 years, I don’t think I’ve heard it once.

Of course, it coming to my mind took said mind on a road trip to find out not where it went – I think times change, people die off, traditions alter – but from whence it came.

We sang it in every Sunday morning worship service as the closing song of the music portion just before Daddy preached.

It was prayerful, solemn, sacred.

We sang:

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

And that’s all we sang.

But, that’s not the whole song.

There’s more, much, much more.

Written in 1674 by Thomas Ken, an Anglican Clergyman, the hymn is entitled “Awake, My Soul, and With the Sun.”  He was appointed chaplain to Princess Mary, later Queen Mary II of England by her uncle, King Charles II.

Thomas Ken

The tune we used is that of “The Old 100th”, a different song based on the 100th Psalm.  It was written at a time when church leaders felt the Bible should be sung in church to help people learn what it says.

Not a bad idea.

But, we don’t sing it any longer.

Sure, sure, there are tons of new songs based on Bible verses, and I like them as well.

I just miss the tradition.

The entire song is provided below.  I never heard anyone sing any part of it except the last verse.

I realize that this post may not resonate with many who check in with me every day, and that’s OK. This one’s for me, and Linda, and Sunny, and Marie, and Diane, and Barb, and Kande, and Jack, and my siblings, and a few others who might get it. Or who might remember a time when that last verse was a part of our youth, our growing UP, our foundation, our praise, and our history.

I miss it.


Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.